An ode to writing and composing amongst eagle-eyed editors
“It’s your turn to write a blog today.”
It’s interesting being surrounded by writers and editors (note to self: look up the collective nouns – a ‘nib’ of writers, a ‘slash’ of editors?) how the immediate reaction to such a demand causes one’s throat to dry; nervous twitching ensues and the hope that the word rhythm… ryhthmn,.. rhythm doesn’t pop up. See what I mean?
Before I began working with The Write Factor, I never thought twice before I wrote, composed or scribbled anything down. Songs, poems, haikus, daft throw-away lyrics and tunes that littered my desktop – but now something has changed. Every full stop and comma, paragraph, grammatical phrase and all manner of structural scaffolding that keeps the whole thing from toppling, is bare and exposed to the circling editors’ talons.
However, on the positive side, I can really let go, splashing and daubing this palette of white with all manner of mind spillage, throwing words and ideas around a la Pollock, then presenting it to an editor who will scrape away the excessive layers, the repetitive garish bleeds of colour, finally framing the finished piece whilst sweeping the detritus under the nearest available rug (just as they have done with this blog).
When we were in the developmental stage of our Absolute Beginners writing course we were aware that a lot of similar courses we looked at were quite intimidating. In their marketing frenzy some professed to present the participants’ work to ‘top selling publishers’ who would make them ‘top selling authors’. The words ‘den’ and ‘lion’ spring to mind. How can a participant not feel scared and daunted by entering such a Coliseum of Words? We wanted to be more Daniel and less Goliath (oh, I love mixing my metaphors!)
Have no fear – I’m sure there are plenty of courses, like ours, that won’t push you out into the baking sun with only a spear and a very tight loin cloth to your name, as you step over the bloodied remains of past clients’ dictionaries. (Ssshhh, I’ll stop now, as there’s an editor close by, just waiting to pick over my comical similes.)
Don’t allow that barrier to come crashing down before you even start. Think of the palette, have fun, go mad, get down and dirty (colourful or crude) and let the creativity flow. Don’t think of any editors or tutors feasting on excess, but join them at the table, sharing and picking over the delights together, remembering to compost the remains of course.